New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo won a state Senate vote to toughen gun controls and make it easier to keep firearms away from the mentally ill, putting New York a step closer to becoming the first to take action after the Newtown school massacre.

The bill passed by the Senate 43-18 Monday would tighten rules on firearm sales, bar all ammunition clips that hold more than seven rounds, and close gaps in a 2000 ban on assault weapons, which Cuomo said has more "holes than Swiss cheese." It also would give authorities ways to seize guns owned legally by mentally ill people, if they're deemed to be a threat.

"We have seen far too many senseless acts of gun violence," Cuomo, a 55-year-old Democrat, said in a statement following the Senate vote.

If passed by the Assembly, New York would be the first to act on growing calls for tighter gun restrictions since Dec. 14, when a 20-year-old man killed 20 children and six adults in Newtown's Sandy Hook Elementary School. Democratic governors and lawmakers in at least 10 states are seeking new controls, challenging the firearms lobby's political clout.

Sen. Dean Skelos, a Long Island Republican who leads his party in the chamber, said he voted for Cuomo's bill because it strikes a balance between gun owners' rights and public safety.

Rights Preserved

"Your right to own a gun will be protected in terms of confidentiality and there will be no confiscation of weapons, which at one point was being considered," Skelos told reporters just before voting. "It protects the Second Amendment."

The package is the toughest in the nation, with the lowest legal magazine capacity, Cuomo said in Albany before the vote.

"I believe it's the most comprehensive response to this crisis," Cuomo told reporters in a briefing. "New Yorkers can feel their government is responsive and this state is safer."

Assembly leaders postponed action on the measure until 10 a.m. Tuesday.

The shooter in Newtown, Adam Lanza, used a Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle similar to those made at a Remington Arms Co. plant in Ilion, in upstate New York. Two weeks later, two firefighters were killed in Webster, near Rochester, by a 62- year-old man also wielding a Bushmaster. About three dozen workers from the Ilion plant were in Albany yesterday to protest tighter controls on the weapons.

New York law already bans clips made after 1994 that can hold more than 10 bullets. The Bushmaster used in Connecticut held 30 rounds, according to state police there. Cuomo's measure would make all high-capacity magazines illegal in New York.

'Knee Jerk'

"It's a knee-jerk reaction to tragedy," said Jamie Rudwall, president of the United Mine Workers of America Local 717, which represents about 1,200 Remington workers. "I have three small children myself. I know first-hand what it means. What we need is to look at ways to prevent that kind of stuff as opposed to eliminating the rights of law-abiding citizens."

The measure would require professionals such as doctors to report to authorities when a mentally ill person makes threats or discloses impulses to use a gun illegally. Such reports could be used to permit the seizure of weapons owned by the person.

Cuomo's bill also would give holders of pistol permits protection from public exposure, if they ask for it. A suburban New York newspaper recently published the names of those people in Westchester and Rockland counties, using information obtained through Freedom of Information laws and drawing criticism for jeopardizing the safety of at least some of those residents.

Proposals Made

In Connecticut, Governor Dan Malloy said last week that he'll set up an advisory panel to propose new gun controls, similar to a task force created by President Barack Obama. In Colorado, where 12 people died in July during a shooting in a movie theater, Governor John Hickenlooper has suggested that "universal background checks" be required for gun purchases.

The proposals mark a shift from previous years, when debate focused on broadening the right to carry guns, including at colleges or in public buildings.

"The main thrust has been on expanding gun rights, not a retraction," said Richard Feldman, president of the Independent Firearm Owners Association, a Rindge, New Hampshire-based group that opposes restrictions on gun owners. "This is the most intense discussion of the gun issue in my lifetime."